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The table is of special interest to the teetotaller because it shows how little the stress of war and the diminished purchasing power of the sovereign have affected the consumption of spirits last year, amounting to 2.34 gallons per head, was less than it had been for several years, for while it is necessary to go back to 1909 for a year in which the consumption was smaller, yet, owing to the slight increase in the duty that was made in 1916, the expenditure per head last year was higher than in any one of twenty-three years prior to 1912. There was a reduction last year, as well, in the consumption of wine, of which the people of New Zealand have never been extravagant drinkers, the expenditure on this beverage dropping to 10 3/4d per head. The consumption of imported ale and beer also dropped last year and amounted to 0.30 gallons, representing an expenditure of 7d per head. This is, as a matter of consumption, the lowest point to which the consumption of imported ale and beer has ever been brought in New Zealand. But no particular virtue can be claimed by the community over this circumstance, for the beer drinkers more than made up for their diminished consumption of the imported article by their increased demand for the New Zealand brew, the consumption of which amounting to 14 1/2 gallons, at a cost of 4s 10 1/2d per head was the largest in quantity since 1882 and the highest in value that has ever been statistically recorded.
Gambling den raided
A raid was made upon some Chinese premises in Walker (Carroll) street last evening by Detective-sergeant Kemp, Detectives Cameron, Hammerly, and Hall, Sergeant M’Kenzie, and Constable M’Culloch. As a result 19 Celestials will appear before the court this morning, one of whom will be charged with allowing his premises to be used as a gaming house, while two others will be charged with assisting in its management. The remaining 16 will be charged with being found in a common gaming house. It is alleged that the Sunday pastime being indulged in by the Chinamen was the game known as ‘‘fan tan’’, and that much of the incidental paraphernalia was discovered, while certain of the appurtenances of the game ‘‘laing gow’’were also said to have been found. It is also stated that the total moneys found in possession of the players amounted to close on £80.
Seal startles horse
Driving along the Wickliffe Bay road recently a resident had an unusual experience. His horse refused to negotiate a sharp bend in the road and backed excitedly. The resident jumped down from his vehicle to investigate, and to his surprise saw just round the bend a 10ft seal lying asleep athwart the road. Its rest disturbed, the seal made no haste to escape, but with vigorous blows from its flappers disposed of the attacks launched by the dogs and finally made off seawards in leisurely fashion. The discovering of the seal enlightened the residents as to the recent scarcity of fish in the bay. — ODT, 16.7.1917.
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